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The Office of Frontier Security, or OFS, was a Solarian executive agency authorized in the 14th Century PD, responsible for overseeing and stabilizing the League's vast frontiers.

The OFS stylized itself as "A Galactic Force for Good."

In compliance with the terms between the Grand Alliance and the Solarian League following the conclusion of the Solarian-Manticoran War, OFS was disbanded in 1923 PD. (HH14)

Duties[]

The Office of Frontier Security's duties included the promotion of stability along the League's frontiers and the so-called Verge through mediation and negotiation with the local star systems, as well as assistance for systems wishing Solarian protection. In order to perform those duties, OFS representatives were authorized to enter into treaties with neighboring star nations in the name of the Solarian League. As a result the OFS was also charged with management of those protectorates. The OFS was not responsible for non-border frontier protectorates like Sector 12. (SI1, SI2, CS1, HHA1.2: AGT)

Organization[]

The OFS was supervised by Minister of the Interior. Its headquarters were located on Earth.

The basic OFS organizational unit was the sector. There were, however, some differences between the outer sectors administered by the OFS:

  • the OFS official in charge of a protectorate sector was a Commissioner, appointed by the Ministry of the Interior,[1]
  • the OFS official in charge of the Maya Sector held a unique position of the Governor,
  • the OFS official in charge of an assisted star system was a System Governor, as in the case of Saltash System. (SI4)

OFS Governors and Commissioners were assisted by Lieutenant Governors and Vice-Commissioners. When an OFS Commissioner was incapable of performing his duties, his Vice-Commissioner acted as acting Commissioner. Lower level OFS officials were District Officers, probably in charge of a single planet or star system.[2]

Enforcement instruments[]

OFS's own military forces were the Frontier Forces, described as the League's auxiliary military forces. The Frontier Forces were a combination of security and Intervention battalions[3] and were used in cases of insurrections against OFS administration (the predations of the commercial interests who very often exploited OFS protectorate planets in fact). (CS1, SI1)

The OFS was also supported by the Solarian Gendarmerie and the Frontier Fleet of the Solarian League Navy. Both organizations enjoyed a degree of autonomy at the sector level and were able to refuse questionable instructions or orders[4] The Solarian League Navy's Frontier Fleet nominally worked for or with the Office of Frontier Security, so Commissioners and Governors provided Frontier Fleet commanding officers with policy guidance and, to some extent, direction:

  • small Frontier Fleet detachments were permanently assigned to Commissioners' and Governors' office
  • OFS senior officials were authorized to call for Frontier Fleet intervention, which could also include Marine ground operations, in support of the Frontier Forces, when it was unable to manage a crisis, such as an insurrection on a protectorate planet. (CS1, SI1, SI2)

Controversy[]

Because of poor supervision, bureaucratic degeneration, and rampant corruption, the OFS had become, well before 1900 PD, an agent of exploitation of its protectorate planets and a tool of outright expansionism into border areas. It provided fraudulent assistance and rigged referenda to justify extension of its control into adjoining areas. The purpose was to takeover and subsequently exploit newly seized Verge worlds, both politically and economically. (HH10, SI1)

Without public or legislative League oversight, the Office of Frontier Security, and the Earth based bureaucracy which directed it, developed its own foreign policy, which consisted of pressure, faking requests for assistance from distressed worlds, and ultimately absorption and exploitation of Verge planets incapable of standing up to OFS on their own. The views of their inhabitants were of little account. The activities of OFS were made considerably more predatory and callous by corrupt dealings with the League's massive multi-stellar corporations and commercial interests. These corporations aided and supported Frontier Security's activities, in exchange for exploitation privileges of newly-acquired worlds under OFS authority, and with the expectation of OFS intervention in suppressing objection to that exploitation. In particular, many leading figures in Frontier Security had close, if concealed, connections with the those economic interests, often including Mesan corporations, including Manpower Incorporated.

While Frontier Security's abuses were not secret, and often the subject of reformist protests, the majority of the League's population was generally unaware of the details of OFS's activities.

Frontier Security regarded the Star Kingdom of Manticore as a threat to its interests (and to those of its Mesan partners), particularly after the discovery of the Lynx Terminus of the Manticore Junction, the probable extension of Manticore's influence on commercial traffic in more of League space. The requested annexation of the Talbott Cluster by the Star Kingdom was even more of a problem for OFS and its supporters. The worlds which had requested annexation were both in Frontier Security's planned path of expansion into the Talbott Cluster bordering the Solarian League's Madras Sector, and much closer to Mesa itself than any other Manticoran outpost. To stop the annexation, Frontier Security and the Gendarmerie, at the hidden direction of, and assistance, of Mesa (especially the Jessyk Combine), developed and began to carry out a plan to sabotage it. This included arming fringe Cluster groups opposed to the annexation. The objective was to trigger a campaign of violence and terrorism, providing a pretext for OFS to intervene as a neutral power to keep the peace. And, in so doing, wrestle the Cluster, and perhaps control of the Lynx Terminus, away from Manticore. (SI2)

As part of the 1923 PD ceasefire agreement between the League and the Grand Alliance, the OFS was abolished and the Verge systems returned to the independent government of their choice. The collapse of OFS proved messier than expected however. Many OFS governors, infuriated by the loss of their personal empires, decided to hinder the transitioning to local government, deleting critical records on the justification that they contained classified information or withdrew completely leaving local systems without any trained administrators, local police forces, trained traffic management personnel or other personnel needed to create a stable government and economy[5]. In response, the Grand Alliance was required to take a more "hands on" approach than it would have liked. Alliance cruiser squadrons and destroyer flotillas were dispatched for power projection and area control missions while Alliance administrators and technicians assisted local authorities[6]. (HH14,CS4)

Secret contingency plans[]

In cooperation with the OFS, Frontier Fleet had prepared secret contingency plans for Solarian League protectorates and Verge systems in case of widespread emergency. They were quite brutal, and included actions which showed no respect for law or the sovereignty of the targeted planets and systems.

  • Case Buccaneer — a surprise piratical action against Verge star nations, specifically designed to destabilize them, permitting the OFS to take them over to stabilize matters
  • Case Fabius — preemptive demolition actions against orbital facilities at protected systems, in cases in which local authorities denied economic concessions to commercial enterprises colluding with the OFS

The contingency plans above became known to the Star Empire of Manticore when the RMN's Tenth Fleet captured intact databases in the aftermath of the Second Battle of New Tuscany from squadron flagships of the SLN's Task Group 3021. (HH12)

OFS Administration and its Client States[]

Solarian client states were minor star nations neighboring the League, influenced by the OFS:

There were systems with local OFS representative, like:

Othe branches of the Office of Frontier Security sponsored some technically independent governments in the Verge, like:

The OFS controlled wormholes as well, like:

References[]

  1. It is uncertain if a 'Commissioner' was the same position as the 'League High Commissioner' mentioned in A Grand Tour.
  2. As, for instance, on Boniface.
  3. Presence of battalion-level units confirmed.
  4. Mention at SI2 involved orders issued by an acting Commissioner's.
  5. Other former OFS governors attempted to make the process went smoothly.
  6. The Alliance needed to do so without appearing to be attempting to acquire the same "influence" that would allow it to dominate and effectively control the former protectorate systems.
  7. Under the terms of the peacekeeping agreement the OFS was assigned responsibility for managing the system’s local and interstellar traffic for 35% fee.
  8. The local OFS governor administered all space assets there.
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